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NFL Picks And Predictions: Week 1 And Season Opening Special


Each and every Thursday, I'll be providing my picks for the week's upcoming NFL games, and I'll be joined by your good friends Tex and PA. You might have noticed that both of them now go by their real names, Evan Western and Devin Shanley, on this site. It's almost like we're professionals!

This week, you get a little bonus in this column. In addition to picking each week's games, we have our season awards and Super Bowl picks. You'll get angry when you get to that part.

I didn't get this ready before last night's game, but we all picked the New York Giants to win. I felt like you guys deserved full disclosure. We're all 0-1 for the season already. Full picks are below the jump.


MIA @ HOU: Texans
NE @ TEN: Patriots
STL @ DET: Lions
WAS @ NO: Saints
PHI @ CLE: Eagles
ATL @ KC: Falcons
BUF @ NYJ: Bills
JAX @ MIN: Gross. Vikings.
IND @ CHI: Bears
SEA @ ARI: Seahawks
CAR @ TB: Buccaneers
SF @ GB: Packers
PIT @ DEN: Steelers
CIN @ BAL: Ravens


Colts at Bears. Bears. The only interesting storyline out of this
game will be whether Brian Urlacher can make it out of the game
healthy. Other than that it's all Bears.

Eagles at Browns. Eagles. A few years ago there would of been a
story of Michael Vick going to the Dawg Pound, but now it's a just a
game of a near Super Bowl Contender going to the Factory of Sadness.

Rams at Lions. Lions. I like what the Rams are doing and I am not
sold on the Lions this year, but come on. This should be all Lions.

Dolphins at Texans. Texans. The Dolphins have the look of a team
playing for next year. A win though could make them an en vogue team
for a week or two.

Jaguars at Vikings. Jaguars. I think the smart money says Vikings,
but there is something about the Jags that could catch people by
surprise, especially if Blaine Gabbert puts on his big boy pants.

Redskins at Saints. Saints. The Skins have RGIII and some new
weapons. The Saints don't have their first two choices for head
coach. You know what the Saints do have though? Drew Brees.

Jets at Bills. Bills. This is the game for the number two spot in
the AFC East, or as I may call it this year who is the best of the
worst. Everyone not named the Patriots have looked awful in the
preseason. The Bills could turn some of that negative energy around
though with a win against the Jets who look more and more lost with
each passing year.

Patriots at Titans. Patriots. The Titans are that little scrappy
team that people expect big things out of this year. It may happen,
but not this week, not with the juggernaut that is the Patriots coming
into town.

Seahawks at Cardinals. Seahawks. I"m a sucker sometimes. Case in
point I really believe the Seahawks can win the NFC West. Winning
this game should help that cause.

Panthers at Buccaneers. Panthers. A tale of two teams. One building
towards something good and one working violently towards mediocrity.
This game should showcase the differing level of talent on both teams.

Steelers at Broncos. Broncos. I believe in Peyton Manning. I also
believe that a real QB with that strong Bronco defense could be a very
interesting combination this year.

Bengals at Ravens. Bengals. There is something about the Harbaugh
brothers that everyone gets hot and bothered about and so each of
their teams are a little overhyped at this point. I expect the
Bengals to take a little wind out of the sails of the Ravens and their
aging defense.

Chargers at Raiders. Chargers. The Chargers need a fast start in a
much more competitive division this year.

49ers at Packers. Packers. I just don't believe in teams that are
defense and run based and then add a whole bunch of receivers and
suddenly expect a high powered offense. All it should take is Rodgers
to score some points early or the defense to rattle Alex Smith with
rush or interception and then it's downhill from there for the Niners.


Dolphins at Texans: Texans, and this is one of the easiest picks of the week. Ryan Tannehill might be a future star, but he's going to struggle in his first NFL game up against a very solid defense. The Texans were respectable without Arian Foster and Matt Schaub for periods of last year, and they'll move the ball easily against the Dolphins with both healthy.

Patriots at Titans: Patriots, though the Titans aren't bad. There's just no stopping Gronk and Hernandez, and Locker isn't going to beat Brady in a shootout.

Rams at Lions: Lions, easily, because the Rams are a bad team.

Redskins at Saints: Saints, but this one could get fun. I don't trust the Saints defense at all and I think Robert Griffin is as good as advertised. Points on points on points.

Eagles at Browns: Eagles, easily, for the same reason as the Lions.

Falcons at Chiefs: Chiefs, by one score in a tight one. This is one of the best games of the week. I feel like these teams are both right on the edge of making the playoffs. We're going to learn a lot about both of them this week.

Bills at Jets: Jets, also by one score in a tight one. Possibly a fight for the No. 6 seed in the AFC? I think people are too low on the Jets and too high on the Bills. I might be made to look like a moron by this game.

Jaguars at Vikings: Vikings, sadly. The Jaguars stink.

Colts at Bears: Bears, but not by more than 10. I feel the same way about this as I do Saints-Redskins. Luck is the real deal and the Bears defense isn't what it used to be. The Colts D is bad and the Bears are at home, so they'll win, but Luck will keep this interesting.

Seahawks at Cardinals: Seahawks. All Russell Wilson everything.

Panthers vs. Buccaneers: Panthers. I'll believe Greg Schiano is an NFL coach when one of his teams goes .500.

49ers at Packers: Packers, by one score in a nail-biter. I'd pick the Niners to win if it was in San Fransisco. I think the NFC title will come down to which one of these teams gets homefield throughout.

Steelers at Broncos: Broncos, with Ryan Clark's absence as the deciding factor as Manning throws over the middle over and over and over again.

Bengals at Ravens: Ravens, though I still don't trust Joe Flacco at all. This won't be a blowout.

Chargers at Raiders: DA RAIDAHS. Carson Palmer's rebirth is coming, y'all.

Bonus time! Super Bowl and award picks!


Super Bowl: Packers over Broncos

MVP: Peyton Manning
Offensive Player of the Year: Calvin Johnson
Defensive Player of the Year: Brooks Reed
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Andrew Luck
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Mark Barron


Super Bowl: Patriots over Packers

Don't give me too much heat, please. In picking the teams, I had to look at who I think is best set up for sustained success this season, so I'm taking the chalk. The Packers offense will be dynamic and the defense added enough pieces to get some pass rush and win a game or two if the offense has an off day. The Patriots are much the same as Green Bay, but I think with a bit more consistent pass rush and fewer turnovers. Once I decided on these two in the game, the winner is a toss-up. I think it will come down to which team's tight ends can exploit the middle of the defense, and the Patriots' guys have proven they can do that better than Green Bay's.

MVP: Aaron Rodgers - Does anybody really think he'll regress in any substantial fashion? 45 touchdowns to six interceptions might not be a reasonable goal, but the offensive line should be improved with Newhouse being in his second year as a key component. With even more weapons, Rodgers is the easy choice to repeat.

Offensive POY: Calvin Johnson, WR, DET - He's simply unstoppable, and he'll repeat his video-game numbers this season as more weapons are developing around him to draw coverage away.

Defensive POY: Patrick Willis, LB, SF - Willis has been knocking at the door for this award for a few years now, but just hasn't broken through. He's the best middle linebacker in the game today, and sooner or later he's going to win one of these. Keep an eye on former Badger J.J. Watt as a dark horse pick.

OROY: Andrew Luck, QB, IND (I desperately wanted to pick Russell Wilson, but I had to take the chalk.)

DROY: Luke Kuechly, LB, CAR


Super Bowl: Patriots over Packers

Sorry guys, don't hate me. I think the Packers might be able to beat more teams in the league than the Patriots, but I think we get exposed by Gronk and Hernandez more than most. It's just a bad matchup.

MVP: Aaron Rodgers - There's just no reason to believe he'll go significantly backwards. Tom Brady could very easily put up better numbers, but Rodgers is the safe pick.

Offensive POY: Calvin Johnson - I guess everyone's in agreement so far.

Defensive POY: DaMarcus Ware - His two sacks and two tackles for a loss last night are just a sign of what's to come. He's dominant and will put up 20+ sacks this year.

Offensive ROY: Russell Wilson - Whatever, I'm a homer.

Defensive ROY: Chandler Jones - The Patriots are going to turn this guy into a machine. He was an absolute steal for them.


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